Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 1990 Legislation Debated

 

The reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) continues to be delayed through committee, as well as multiple amendments addressing a wide array of issues. On March 12, 2014 more than 30 amendments were introduced on the Senate floor in an effort to refine, redefine, and improve the requirements of the legislation. Often the amendments involved striking a word here and there, but some amendments called for substantive changes such as the elimination of duplicative programs. Those programs identified for elimination included. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

ACF Budget Request for FY 2015

 

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) 2015 budget request attempts to restore funds that were enacted for 2014 – an increase from the 2013 sequestration reductions. In most programs, additional funding was not requested but the desire to maintain current levels of appropriation was evident throughout the budget. The increases below are a sample of the requests made by ACF for the most vulnerable children and families served by the programs under the Administration. An increase of $1.365 billion for components of Head Start and Early Head Start with lesser amounts recommended in other programs. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Finalizes Rules on State Operated Basic Health Programs

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final rules in the March 12, 2014 Federal Register on state administration of optional “Basic Health Programs” (BHPs) authorized under section 1331 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This optional state program will be available mainly for state residents with household incomes between 133 percent and 200 percent of the Federal poverty level (FPL) who would otherwise be eligible to enroll in qualified health plans (QHPs) offered through Exchanges. Certain lawfully present non-citizens with incomes under 133 percent of the FPL can qualify under the BHP option also. This optional state program will be available in 2015. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

HHS Releases Progress Report on Exchanges

 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a monthly progress report on March 11, 2014 showing that 4,242,325 individuals selected a qualified health plan (QHP) through Exchanges by March 1, 2014. This includes 1,621,239 individuals selecting QHPs through State-based Exchanges and 2,621,086 individuals selecting QHPs through Federally-facilitated Exchanges. [More]

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Categories:Health and Human Services

 

USDE Awards New School Improvement Grants

 

On March 13, 2014, U.S. Department of Education (USDE) Secretary Arne Duncan announced that 10 states have been awarded School Improvement Grants (SIG) to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest-performing schools. Sharing in the total $95 million funding are Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, and Texas. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

The President’s Budget Proposal Would Increase USDE Funding

 

President Obama’s FY 2015 budget proposal, released on March 4, 2015, includes a request for $68.6 billion in discretionary funds for the U.S. Department of Education (USDE); nearly two percent more than last year’s funding. Nearly 90 percent of the funds would be for formula grant programs that address the needs of disadvantaged and minority students, students receiving special education, and English language learners. USDE would receive additional funding for Preschool Development Grants, the ConnectEDucators initiative, and Promise Neighborhoods. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

CMS Report Shows Growth in Medicaid Eligibility Determinations

 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released on February 28, 2014 its first monthly report on State Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) application and eligibility determinations encompassing the Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in January 2014. The ACA created a new Medicaid eligibility category of non-disabled, childless adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level. The new CMS report indicates that, in 26 jurisdictions (25 states and the District of Columbia) that have elected to implement Medicaid expansion so far, there were 1,531,527 individuals newly determined eligible for Medicaid/CHIP in January. [More]

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USDE Provides New Guidance for Protecting Student Privacy

 

On February 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education (USDE) published new guidance for protecting student privacy while using online educational services. The guidance addresses the privacy and security of computer software, mobile applications (apps), and web-based tools provided by a third-party vendor to a local education agency (LEA) through which students and/or parents have access to online educational services. The guidance does not apply to electronic tools/services to which students and parents do not have access, e.g., an online student information system used exclusively by school officials for administrative purposes. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

Early Childhood Data Systems Fail to Link with Other Data Systems to Improve Outcomes

 

According to a February 19, 2014 report released by the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC), most states are not effectively linking their early childhood data systems with other data systems as necessary to effectively guide decision-making for government-funded early care and education (ECE) programs. [More]

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Categories:Education

 

VA Federal Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Dealing with Subsidies Under ACA

 

On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge James R. Spencer in the Eastern District of Virginia dismissed a lawsuit claiming that language in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) called for subsidies to be available only in states that run their own health insurance exchanges (Exchanges). [More]

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